Immune cell regulation of glia during CNS injury and disease

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2020 Mar;21(3):139-152. doi: 10.1038/s41583-020-0263-9. Epub 2020 Feb 10.


Glial cells are abundant in the CNS and are essential for brain development and homeostasis. These cells also regulate tissue recovery after injury and their dysfunction is a possible contributing factor to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disease. Recent evidence suggests that microglia, which are also the brain's major resident immune cells, provide disease-modifying regulation of the other major glial populations, namely astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. In addition, peripheral immune cells entering the CNS after injury and in disease may directly affect microglial, astrocyte and oligodendrocyte function, suggesting an integrated network of immune cell-glial cell communication.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / immunology
  • Brain / immunology*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Microglia / immunology
  • Neuroglia / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Oligodendroglia / immunology